Ian Rankin to become visiting professor at leading creative writing course

Ian Rankin, the creator of the best selling Rebus novels, is to take a prestigious position at one of the leading creative writing courses in the UK.

The leading Scottish writer is to be the Unesco City of Literature visiting professor at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in September this year.

Rankin will be on the university campus during the autumn semester, and contribute to seminars, lectures, and tutorials.

The MA in Creative Writing was founded in 1970, the first in the country, and among its many successful graduates are the Booker Prize-winning authors Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Anne Enright.

The UK’s first MA in Creative Writing, it was established by the novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson.

The Fife-born author said: "I was still a full-time student when I wrote Inspector Rebus's first adventure.

"That was in 1984/5 and Edinburgh University didn't have a Creative Writing course.

"Almost no university did – and I remember being jealous of Ian McEwan and others who had learned from their experiences at the University of East Anglia.

"That's why it is such a privilege and honour to accept UEA's offer of a Visiting Professorship.

"I hope to learn, share, and teach, because as a writer you should never stop trying to hone your craft."

2017 will mark the 30th anniversary of Rebus, and publishers Orion are to announce a year long series of events to mark the occasion.

Over the course of the anniversary year Rankin will be embarking on an international tour and Orion will be publishing special editions of selected titles.

Henry Sutton, senior lecturer in Creative Writing at UEA, said: "We are thrilled to be welcoming Ian Rankin to UEA.

"His extraordinary experience and expertise as a writer of contemporary fiction will be invaluable to our current students, from undergraduates to those studying for PhDs.

"Ian will also be involved in UEA's new Crime Fiction MA – the crime fiction genre being an area of increasing expertise at the university."

Rankin's books have been translated into 36 languages and are bestsellers.

He is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Hull and Edinburgh and received the OBE for services to literature. He was recently made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

On 28 April the Orion Publishing Group will be announcing news of a year-long series of activities to mark the anniversary of the famous creation.

Ian Rankin was born on 28 April 1960 and in Rebus's first appearance in print in Knots and Crosses, it reads: "It was 28th April. Wet, naturally, the grass percolating water as John Rebus walked to the grave of his father, dead five years to the day."

The University of East Anglia was founded in 1963 and pioneered the teaching of creative writing in the UK.

The previous UNESCO City of Literature Visiting Professors have been Ali Smith, Timberlake Wertenbaker, James Lasdun, Margaret Atwood, and Tim Parks.

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